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Swinburne, David T. (1999) LINK and the dynamics of utterance interpretation. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029233

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Abstract

The operation allows the derivation of inferential units as the result of syntactic processing. The same operation derives structure across a diffuse range of data; the differences between these are attributable to lexical information and the dynamics of the process. The thesis examines a range of data where clauses depend on some element in the main clause for interpretation. These are assigned structure as LINK trees in the framework of Labelled Deductive Systems for Natural Language outlined in Kempson, Meyer-Viol & Gabbay, (Dynamic Syntax: the Deductive Flow of Natural Language, in prep.). I describe the approach to utterance interpretation this proposes: linguistic structure is built incrementally according to lexically encoded procedural instructions and rules of construction constrained by pragmatic principles. This allows a perspective where problems previously divided between syntax, semantics and pragmatics can be addressed in a more unified manner. 1 outline the operation as it has been developed for relative clauses. This allows several trees to be built for the same utterance which are connected by a having a node description in common. I argue that this operation can be extended to cover the following data: extraposed relative clauses, reduced relative clauses, adjunct predicates and parenthetical constituents. To this end I introduce type (p) into the framework, which allows the representation of non-tensed propositions and I modify the operation to allow the creation of trees from discontinuous input. I develop context-dependent lexical rules to capture the difference between modifying and predicative uses of lexical items. The interaction of processing tasks, compilation and lexical information determines the precise nature of the structures which are built. The update procedure I develop allows a uniform characterisation of the way structure is derived across different contexts, shedding new light on the dynamics of building interpretation.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029233
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:09
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/29233

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